Sonically stunning! I use the word `sonic' to suggest, obviously, sound, but I tend to think of a `landscape' of sound or a tonal aura or something similar - you see, it's getting linguistically ridiculous already, so `sonic' seems to sum up a reference to sound whilst saying significantly more than just `sound'.
This album is more than just sound. So `sonic' is going to get me started on describing it. It is definitely stunning. From the crescendos and explosions of the full orchestra - itself battling with the sonic [there it is again] booms of the saxophones and horns - to the vocal pyrotechnics and sound-poetry, to the actual growls of a solo saxophone, to the pandemonium of the erupting orchestra [I've just written this as I nearly ejected out of my chair at about 20 minutes into Part Two of this two-parter when the concluding crescendo of this amazing amalgam of sound (I probably mean `sonic') suddenly detonates] to the almost conventional jazz melody to the everything else that gets thrown into this stunning sonic sink [too much now?], this is an album where if you'd pulled your titanium socks up over your head and welded them to the top of your scalp it will still blow them off in a nanosecond at any one of its many dynamic peaks of sound.
One of these first brilliant peaks is three and a half minutes into Part One where the three-beat bass line has been building and the vocal singing/chanting has been screaming and then the orchestra and brass and guitars and quite a bit in addition goes ballistic with its first glorious fusion of sound.
This is free jazz and avant garde and rock and sound poetry and one of the most exciting things I've heard for a while. Lest you think it is just monumental noise - and it is this - the opening vocal shouts and echoes and whistle noises and found sounds at the beginning of Part Two are beautiful and sonically calming. But then.....
Very dark, modern atonal jazz album with an explosive post-rock build and feel to it. It's as though Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Sun Ra got together for a jam, with added unhinged Jefferson Airplane-esque vocals shrieking amid the exploding atonal brass and distorted guitar riffs. Just amazing, if not one for the faint of heart! Without a doubt, one of my favourite albums of the year.